Diagnosis of Death

detective, crime

Typology

feature

Czech title

Diagnóza smrti

Runtime

85

Country

Czechoslovakia

Copyright

1979

Production year

1979

Premiere

14.12.1979

Language version

Czech

Director

Petr Schulhoff

Screenplay

Petr Schulhoff

Screenstory

Petr Schulhoff

Summary

The charismatic Major Kalaš, as played by the acclaimed Rudolf Hrušínský, was first introduced to filmgoers in 1963 by director Petr Schulhoff with the release of Strach (Fear). Hrušínský went on to appear as the sharp-witted detective in three more films, namely Vrah skrývá tvář (The Murderer Hides his Face, 1966), Po stopách krve (On the Trail of Blood, 1969), and finally in Diagnóza smrti (1979). This last detective thriller sees the Major, together with Lieutenant Martinec (Vilém Besser), investigate an ostensible car accident. The story relates how the destinies of the smash-up's two severely injured people are fatally intertwined. Truck driver Linhart can only be saved with a kidney transplant; and the donor could be the woman found in the woods – his lover Kateřina Marková. A fresh, direct trail then leads the detectives to some unexpected perpetrators... The leading actors deliver undeniably superb performances in this final adventure of Major Kalaš. The film is also lifted by the narrative atmosphere and the the plausibility of the plot, bound by the motif of guilt and punishment. Diagnóza smrti is actually rather more than a standard crime genre movie. Audiences will find it reminiscent of a psychological tale with elements of a detective flick.

Synopsis

Two seriously injured patients are brought to the hospital at almost the same time: truck driver Honza Linhart, who had an accident, and a young woman found unconscious in a forest by a man picking mushrooms. The woman is identified as Kateřina Marková, the divorced mother of a young girl. Major Kalaš and Lieutenant Martinec suspect that she is a victim of mugging since a bloodstained small axe has been found near the site of the crime and, according to witnesses, Ms Marková was missing her watch and a bracelet, from which a gemstone has also been discovered. Linhart has lost his only kidney in the accident; in order to live a normal life again, he will need a kidney transplant from the mugged woman if she dies. Honza's wife learns about this from a nurse and begins to take interest in the woman. It comes to light that Marková is in fact her husband's mistress. Marková dies and the criminologists are already investigating her case as a murder. Ivan Vajner, who was Marková dating, is eliminated as the potential killer, and later so too is Linhart, who has confided in his friend Bártl that he was going to have a baby with Marková. Kalaš visits Linhartová's home and he recognises the bracelet missing the gemstone found near Marková in the woods. Linhartová does not deny the charge. She had found out about Honza's relationship with Marková, met the woman in the woods and hit her with the axe. She also took a bracelet, which belonged her before. Before taking the captive to prison, Kalaš allows the woman one last visit to her husband at the hospital.

Film online

Cast

Rudolf Hrušínský

major Kalaš

Alexandra Gasnárková

Valentová/Kateřina Marková, sestra Valentové

Vilém Besser

poručík Martinec

Zdeněk Ornest

chirurg MUDr. Zíbrt

Jiří Wohanka

řidič Honza, manžel Linhartové

Jan Pohan

praporčík VB v civilu

Zdeněk Martínek

profesor Kovanda

Vítězslav Jandák

Ivan Vajner, Kateřinin milenec

Blanka Hlavová

zdravotní sestra Marie

Petr Čepek

majitel chaty Tomáš Bártl

Jana Andresíková

zdravotní sestra Milada

Marie Marešová

Verešová

Stanislav Litera

praporčík VB

Radvana Havelková

Vajnerová, Ivanova matka

Jiří Žák

podpraporčík VB

Zoja Pistoriusová

zdravotní sestra

Jana Henžlová

zdravotní sestra

Věra Bartůňková

zdravotní sestra

Miloslava Dudranová

zdravotní sestra

Ludmila Plívová

zdravotní sestra

Marcela Stoklásková

zdravotní sestra

Svatava Smoláková

babka

Vladimír Ptáček

hospodský

Karel Nonner

neurolog ve službě

Jaromír Šnajdr

neurolog

Josef Havel

civilista

Vlastimil Čaněk

motocyklista

Jiřina Bílá

barmanka

Karel Vavřík

svědek nehody

Andrea Bevelaguová

Janička

Jiří Havlík

neurolog Kavan

Karel Smrž

houbař

Zdeněk Hrdlička

elektronik operačního sálu

Václav Hrůza

řidič VB

Stanislav Šmíd

příslušník VB

Gustav Vondráček

strážmistr

Jaroslav Hostička

lékař

Ivan Vaněk

lékař

Jiří Holeček

dělník ve skladu

Milada Hořická

dubl za Gasnárkovou

Crew and creators

Second Unit Director

Vladimír Zelenka

Assistant Director

Zdeněk Pazdírek, Eva Kolářová

Screenstory

Petr Schulhoff

Screenplay

Petr Schulhoff

Shooting Script

Petr Schulhoff

Script Editor

Zdeněk Dufek

Second Unit Photography

Michal Kulič

Camera Operator

Milan Kopecký

Production Designer

Zbyněk Hloch

Set Designer

Bedřich Čermák, Bohuslav Varhaník, Milan Šefrna

Costume Designer

Jitka Polednová

Film Editor

Jan Chaloupek

Sound Designer

Roman Hloch

Production Manager

Ladislav Novotný

Unit Production Manager

Jiří Radil, Jaroslav Smola

Unit Production Manager

Jiří Potsch

Consultant

mjr. Jaroslav Buchar, MUDr. Ladislav Hahn, MUDr. Jiří Pešek

Music

Music Composed by

Pavel Blatný

Music Performed by

FISYO

Music Conducted by

František Belfín (FISYO)

Production info

Original Title

Diagnóza smrti

English Title

Diagnosis of Death

Working Title

Pokoj č. 5

Copyright

1979

Production Year

1979

Premiere

14.12.1979

Creative Group

Miroslav Hladký

Technical info

Format

35mm , Betacam, DVD

Versions

Czech